A dying throw-out release bearing will typically make a lot of noise when you
push the clutch pedal in. When you press the clutch pedal in, this
engages the throw-out bearing onto the release fingers of the clutch pressure
plate. As the throw-out bearing contacts the fingers of the pressure
plate, this pressure plate releases the pressure off the clutch disc.
This is how the clutch pedal disengages the clutch system.
After separating the engine from the transmission or vice versa, inspect the
throw-out (or release) bearing by removing it off of the transmission input
shaft. It is held in loosely by the clutch fork.
Inspect the throw-out bearing by spinning the inside collar by hand. If
the throw-out bearing grinds or makes noises, change it. We recommend
changing the throw-out bearing anyways unless it's of relatively low mileage
(under 50,000 miles).
When reinstalling, grease all contact points of the throw-out bearing to the clutch
fork. Also make sure the clutch fork is in the proper position - it should
be securely on the pivot ball with the retainer spring in place, and the upper
clutch fork dimple contacts the clutch slave cylinder actuator rod. Coat
the input shaft of the transmission with some grease to finish off the job.
As with any clutch job, we highly recommend to replace the pilot bearing
at this time. Replacing the pilot bearing and the grease seal is "cheap"
insurance. If the pilot bearing does fail, doing transmission job to
replace a less than $20 part is not fun!
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